We’ve always known there’s a lot of interesting stuff on the northwest end of Manhattan — the Hispanic Society, Columbia University, The Cloisters, Grant’s Tomb, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (the largest church in North America), Riverside Church, Riverside Park, not to mention some of the neighborhoods themselves — Harlem and Morningside Heights. But we’ve never been to any of them before!
Twenty years ago we didn’t go because Harlem had a reputation as being dangerous. More recently, it was because on short visits we lacked the time to travel that far uptown & back.
On this extended stay in New York, one of the reasons we’re staying on the Upper West Side is to have easy access to this part of the city. And so far it’s exceeded our expectations in every way.
The Cloisters are a true oasis of historical beauty and tranquility, the churches are spectacular - easily the equal of European cathedrals (except 100 times less crowded), Grant’s Tomb is a carbon copy of Napoleon’s tomb at Les Invalides, and so far it looks like everything people have said about the transformation of west Harlem into an interesting, beautiful, and peaceful neighborhood seems true.